The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.

    In a Chemo Lab



    Posts : 671
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    In a Chemo Lab

    Post  Pat on Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:06 pm

    (Struggling with S 2, lines 1 & 2 (tense issues/I've reworked the lines several times.  Thought about reversing S 1 and 2 even.)   Open to help with any of it. )

    In a Chemo Lab

    Not one patient speaks
    an unwelcomed phrase
    or plans a shrug or nod.

    Not one auditioned for roles
    played out here.
    Not one judges another.

    Instead, in big brown recliners,
    most sit silent and stay alert
    like an audience moments

    before the play begins,
    for actors to perform
    endearing parts.

    Like an owl, I watch movement
    and listen closely to every
    unscripted utterance

    falling from mouths,
    breaking hearts,
    bringing souls nectar.

    Posts : 619
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    Capt Scissors

    Post  tsukany on Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:52 pm


    I am going to lobby for cutting:

    S1 because it is description and omniscient POV
    Maybe line three of S2 (since it doesn't contribute to the "role" theme)
    Everything past line one of S4  (the "play" implies actors, and there's no need to insert the "I" of the last two stanzas.

    Sorry.  May be cutting MY COMMENTS is best for your poem.  Smile



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    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Yes, you ARE Captain Scissors!!!

    Post  Pat on Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:26 pm

    I am past shock now.   : )   And I typed it in Word, so I could really look at it.   It went from 18 lines to 6 lines!   Hilarious!   I knew it was too much and too vague, but I could not get my hands on it.  Oh how I value critique!   Captain Scissors kept the one image I liked.  Thank you.   So, for the rest of you, this is what it now looks like:   Please address these 6 lines:    

    In the Chemo Lab

    Not one auditioned for
    roles played out here.

    Instead, in big brown chairs
    most stay silent and alert

    like an audience moments
    before the play begins.

    Dewell H. Byrd

    Posts : 374
    Join date : 2012-01-05
    Age : 87
    Location : Central Point, OR

    CHEMO ...

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:59 pm

    Pat,  I like the six liner poem but in cutting so much you may have lost something precious in the last lines of the original poem.
    I think the original poem starts with S #3 and the intent of S #1&2 can be wrapped in two lines at end of #3.

    I yearn for some odors, colors, sounds in this scene...  Guess I'm just a teller of stories and you tell some tough ones.  Dewell

    Dennis 20

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

    Post  Dennis 20 on Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:15 pm

    Pat,  The six-liner is good, but like Dewell, I think you lost the hard poem when you cut it that much. The antiseptic smell and sterile white walls could satisfy Dewell's yearn for smells and colors.  You told too much in the first one, but it left us numb.  The second one didn't really slap us hard like the first one. Maybe, somewhere in-between.  D.


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    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Chemo Lab

    Post  Pat on Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:55 pm

    Thank you.  Good feedback.   I'll keep working on it.   It is a holy place.  Such a humble, gentle place and you never know what will fall out of a mouth!


    Posts : 671
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Here is another "go" at it.

    Post  Pat on Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:31 pm

    In the Chemo Lab

    Not one auditioned for roles
    played out here.  Instead

    in big brown chairs and under
    colorful lap quilts, patients ignore

    small sterilized smells and
    sit silent and alert

    like any audience
    moments before the play begins.

    Dennis 20

    rewrite noted

    Post  Dennis 20 on Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:38 am

    Pat,  I think that is more like what you were saying in the original version.  I would take out "and alert" though.  It doesn't seem to fit the mood or at least for me.  Even if you don't put anything there it still flows into the last two lines.  Good poem.


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    Join date : 2011-09-12

    I wonder if observant

    Post  Pat on Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:17 pm

    would be a better fit.  As a chemo patient, you are watchful, observant, alert. Well, most are. You want to know what's happening around you.  I did meet one or two who slept the entire time, but they were rare birds.   I think if they sat in a recliner, they would always fall asleep.  Oops!  I think I called them chairs!   They were recliners!   Another do-over.  : )

    Posts : 310
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    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock

    Re: In a Chemo Lab

    Post  Karen on Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:10 pm

    I am back home after a long (but happy) trip to a wedding.

    I should bide my time more often.  It was a lesson in critique to see your poem evolve, Pat.  The end result satisfies me.  Move the recliners back to their spot and let it mellow for a while to see if you want rearrange any other furniture.  It's a good poem as it is now.


    Posts : 671
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Good advice, Karen

    Post  Pat on Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:16 pm

    I think this poem is still unfinished.   I'm letting it get cold before I look at it again.  : )

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